Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Ershad Ahmadi speaks during an interview in Kabul June 30, 2013. – Reuters Photo
Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Ershad Ahmadi speaks during an interview in Kabul June 30, 2013. – Reuters Photo

KABUL: Pakistan has floated the concept of an Afghan power-sharing arrangement between Kabul and the Taliban as part of a peace talks “end game,” Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Ershad Ahmadi said on Monday, a suggestion met with outrage in Kabul.

The idea was raised in a Friday meeting between Pakistani national security adviser Sartaj Aziz and Afghan ambassador Umer Daudzai, Ahmadi told Reuters.

It involved a form of federalism and ceding power in some Afghan provinces to the Taliban.

The suggestion dashed hopes of a reset in the relationship between the South Asian neighbours following the election of Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif last month.

It also suggests a visit by British Prime David Cameron to the region at the weekend to promote the Afghan-Pakistan relationship as well as peace talks with the Taliban had failed before he had even arrived.

“We believe this federalism is a means for the Pakistanis to achieve what they could not achieve through their proxy (the Taliban) on the battlefield,” Ahmadi said.

In Islamabad, Pakistani foreign ministry spokesman Aizaz Chaudry denied any suggestion of ceding territory had been made during the meeting. “It was a courtesy call during which the adviser and ambassador also discussed bilateral relations. No reference was made to ceding of provinces to Taliban,” Chaudhry told Reuters.

Pakistan has a considerable influence over the Afghan Taliban leadership, based in the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta.

It is seen as crucial to US and Afghan efforts to promote peace in Afghanistan, a task that is gaining urgency as Nato troops prepare to withdraw from the country by the end of 2014.

Afghanistan has long accused Pakistan of playing a double game regarding the 12-year-old war, saying its neighbour, facing a Taliban insurgency of its own, makes public pronouncements about peace, but allows elements of its military to play a spoiling role.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai also voiced his concern about Pakistan's motive in the peace process during a Saturday news conference with Cameron, saying that “delivering a province or two to the Taliban” would be perceived as an invasion on the Afghan people.

Pakistan was not immediately able to comment on what was said by Aziz or its view of Ahmadi's assertions.

“GRAND DESIGN”

Ahmadi also said the ceremonial opening of the Taliban office in the Gulf state of Qatar's capital, Doha, which raised angry protests in Kabul that the office had the appearance of a government-in-exile, was part of a Pakistani plan designed to increase the insurgents' international prestige.

“There are elements within the Pakistani government who have a grand design of using the peace process as a means to undermine the Afghan state and establish little fiefdoms around the country in which the Taliban - its most important strategic asset in Afghanistan - play an influential role,” he said.

Before Afghanistan suspended talks in Doha, US officials had said they would have stuck to an insistence that the Taliban break ties with al Qaeda, end violence and accept the Afghan constitution, including protection for women and minorities.

During their 1996-2001 reign, the Taliban banned women from education, voting and most work, and they were not allowed to leave their homes without permission and a male escort.

Ahmadi said despite hopes the new Sharif administration may curb meddling in Afghan affairs, Kabul now felt the civilian administration was aiding the double game played by the military and the country's powerful intelligence agency, the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI).

“While we believe there are elements of the military and the ISI who endeavour to weaken the Afghan state, their narrative seems to be getting some kind of buy-in from other state institutions and that's a major concern,” he said.

In particular, the ISI had played a significant role in the events in Doha, Ahmadi said. Part of the reason Kabul was so outraged by the opening of the Taliban office was the use of symbols, including the Taliban flag that had not been approved as part of the peace deal.

Soon after that flag was taken down, some or all of the Taliban delegates held a meeting with ISI officers in Doha, Ahmadi said. “We do monitor these things and we know there have been regular interactions,” Ahmadi said.

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Comments (22) (Closed)


AR
Jul 01, 2013 10:00pm

Haven't we learn our lessons of supporting militants and still want to support Taliban. Its a real irony we don't have any foresight in foreign policy.

Feroze Khan( KPK)
Jul 01, 2013 10:02pm

In the same token Afghan ambassador Umer Daudzai can ask Pakistan to share the government & power in KPK with talibans. How would that sound ?

Ravindra Patel
Jul 01, 2013 10:18pm

What a Joke? How Pakistan can bring peace to Afghanistan by proposing power sharing between Terrorist (Taliban : creation of themselves) and the elected Afghan government when Pakistan civilian government itself is fighting with that Frankenstein? Should not first Pakistan make peace with local Taliban and then they should advice to other governments?

Muhammad Ahmed Mufti
Jul 01, 2013 10:33pm

Afghans are ungrateful, it's time to mine the border with afghanistan and to boot out the 3 million Afghans from Pakistan.

Sal
Jul 01, 2013 10:49pm

Pakistan did not ask to open Taliban office in Qatar nor this peace initiative of US has any where Pakistan's interest on its agenda. US only serves its own purpose and Karzai is their stooge (ex-UNICOL employee) with hardly any influence beyond his presidential palace. Which afghans do these Karzai and party represent? Karzai who is to step down as per his own constitution (i doubt he will ever at his own!!) is trying everything to manipulate the game his way and knows US wants a face saving in the end (from this waste on terror). Taliban on the other hand are becoming more powerful and as was put by one of their leader, "US have a watch, and we have time". All these players need to learn from Afghan's past and need to understand that the puppet governments had never been the representative of Afghan people since British era, and they are bound to vanish as their masters leave the ground.

Least they can do is to take advice from the British General who got the conclusion right after 12 years (mind it, while you are in uniform its very difficult to analyze and speak out such words). Plz ask him the way out now in light of past events...

afghan
Jul 01, 2013 10:55pm

There is no doubt the Pakistan Play double game, that is not new all international community know this

Rocky
Jul 01, 2013 11:35pm

Before Pakistan acts as a facilitator between Taliban and Afghanistan, it (Pakistan) has to establish its credentials as a well wisher of all Afghan people. Giving asylum and encouraging the Medieval Taliban murderers is exactly the opposite of establishing credentials.

fahad
Jul 01, 2013 11:53pm

I wonder why Pakistanis are so much interested in a deserted land Afghanistan. Pakistan has suffred so badly by taking part in Afghan war and still these politians donot learn lesson from history.

Qaiser Bakhtiari
Jul 02, 2013 12:42am

Would Pakistan ever share power with its own Taliban. If the answer is NO then dont expect the Afghans to do the same. Its about time Pakistan stop interfering in its neighbors business.

Nad
Jul 02, 2013 12:59am

Out of no where these lines were just plugged in "During their 1996-2001 reign, the Taliban banned women from education, voting and most work, and they were not allowed to leave their homes without permission and a male escort." ... Why ??? It does not make sense to add these line in-between a different topic (topic was not talban performance). There were many things afghan talban did... why only these lines were picked ???? Of course to degrade them.

JAY RAMAN
Jul 02, 2013 01:08am

There will be no peace in Afghanistan or in Pakistan till the Pakistan military and spy agencies stop interfering in Afghan affairs.

Asim Jadoon
Jul 02, 2013 01:13am

USA, Canda,RUSSIA, GERMANY,India, UAE, Pakistan etc. are all federations. So not sure if Pakistan suggested anything impractical or without consulting with USA/UK. It seems that Afghans just want to accuse Pakistan one way or the other.

Basit
Jul 02, 2013 03:05am

Thankless as they all are, these afghnis just don’t seem to get it. Brought upon us by General Zia, they have become a menace to Pakistan, especially Peshawar. It was Pakistan Army that saved your so called land, gave you a place to seek refuge! Now millions of you have become Pakistan citizens, No thanks to currupt polititions.

A piece of advice to all you afghanis, as thankless as you all are, you leave Pakistan once and for all, we promise to let you alone!

A good enough proposition isn’t it? we don’t see your faces and you don’t see ours.

Omar
Jul 02, 2013 03:44am

Pakistan has not learnt a lesson, because all the games Pakistan has played have back fired.

Balaji
Jul 02, 2013 03:52am

Pakistan will never learn and never change... Its up to its neighbors to work around it :-(

A Khan
Jul 02, 2013 04:45am

So Mr Deputy Foreign Minister, do you have a better plan?

Khan
Jul 02, 2013 05:27am

I have a simple solution for pendo policy makers of Pakistan who are obsessed with strategic depth in Afghanistan. Kick all the afghans out from Pakistan and seal the border, let the afghans decide what they want. To the thankless afghans who keep on accusing Pakistan my question is why they were putting pressure on Pakistan to renew the refugee status of afghans which expired on 30 June if they do not like Pakistan , call back all your criminal afghans from Pakistan to Afghanistan.

Mustafa
Jul 02, 2013 05:42am

This is Obama talking to himself, both Sartaj and Daudzai are his lackeys.

Zaibi
Jul 03, 2013 09:27am

@Ravindra Patel: just as tamils could have shared power in Srilanka and made peace......

Zaibi
Jul 03, 2013 09:27am

@Feroze Khan( KPK): they are already doing that by sharing KPK with taliban khan's PTI.....hehehe...

Aftab Naveed
Jul 03, 2013 12:55pm

@Khan:

If you would have knew the history and the actual cause of Afghan refugees, you would have not passed that comment, We pakistanis are ignorant particularly in history.

Aftab Naveed
Jul 03, 2013 12:53pm

If Pakistan is suggesting Power sharing formula with Taliban for Afghanistan, why would they not do the same thing for Pakistan? Our Leaders should make habit of speaking truth and avoid double standards, If Taliban are good in Afghanistan they are good in Pakistan, if they are bad in Pakistan then they are bad in Afghanistan.